Rennes conceded early last round away at Montpellier, but bounced back in the game and were pretty close of getting all points (finished 1-1).
Rennes have an impressive squad, at least on paper. The defense is very solid with Mexer and Mendes in the center, and in midfield they have skilled players like Gourcuff, Chantome and Ntep. Ntep hasn’t played so far, while Chantome got injured in the first round. According to latest reports Ntep resumed training and should be in the lineup pretty soon. The overall strength will increase significantly with Ntep and Chantome available.
The biggest weakness for Rennes is the lack of a striker with killer instincts. Sio is very active, but limited in skills, so midfielders are forced to also take part in the finishing phase, wasting a lot of energy in the process.
Caen registered their second victory this season, after they defeated Bastia last round (won 2-0). It was a one sided encounter, and it was surprising to see Caen so confident and pushy.
Just like Rennes, Caen seem to struggle in the attacking phase, and need to rely on midfielders to apply the finishing touch. Newly arrived forward Santini scored twice in the first round, but reduced efforts afterwards and was almost invisible last round. He only stood out when he missed a penalty.
Forward Delort (top-scorer last season) finally transferred at Tigres, leaving a bitter taste behind, after refusing to play for Caen and continuously insisting to transfer.
Caen may welcome back fullback Imorou who resumed training, but will miss midfielder Delaplace who suffered an injury.
Judging by how things looked recently, most probably we won’t see too many goals in this game. Rennes will be the ones controlling the midfield and that can make all the difference. They have more resources available in midfield, even if Ntep and Chantome will once again miss. RENNES -0.5 at 2.01
UPDATE: Hosts will welcome back winger Ntep, but midfielder Chantome will miss again. Caen will once again have to do without fullback Imorou.
Rennes : Costil, Nardi – P.Mendes, Zeffane, Bensebaini, Mexer, Baal, Danzé – G.Fernandes, Prcic, B.André, Gourcuff, P.Henrique – Erasmus, Saïd, Ntep, Sio, Diakhaby
Caen : Vercoutre, Dreyer – Bessat, Ben Youssef, A.Yahia, Genevois, D.Da Silva – Adéoti, Seube, Féret, Leborgne, Malbranque, Makengo – Rodelin, Karamoh, P.Sané, Santini, Bazile